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Embracing mental wellbeing is a smart business strategy

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By creating a workplace culture that supports mental wellness, organisations not only thrive but also contribute to a healthier and happier society. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

As the modern workplace continues to evolve, the relentless pursuit of success and productivity could unintentionally make companies overlook the mental well-being of employees.

Indeed in the post-pandemic era, we have often found ourselves in a situation where we work beyond the official 8-hour shifts long into the night to meet deadlines, oblivious of a disruption of work-life balance. This could lead to low employee productivity because of burnout or mental-related issues.

On this premise, employers must embrace mental well-being in the workplace not only as a moral imperative but also as a smart business strategy.

Firstly, employers ought to acknowledge the importance of mental wellness by creating a conducive environment where employees feel safe to discuss their concerns without fear of judgement or any form of repercussions. This culture of openness not only reduces stigma but also encourages early disclosure, facilitates intervention, and hence activates support systems thereby preventing mental breakdowns.

Secondly, just as part of their medical insurance cover for physical health, companies should consider providing comprehensive mental health support, including access to therapists, counsellors, and resources for stress management and resilience building. Investing in employee mental health is an investment in the long-term success of the organisation.

Thirdly, in providing access to mental health resources employers need to sensitise employees and managers about the signs of mental health issues and how to provide support. Managers should be capable of recognising when an employee might be struggling as this can make a substantial difference.

Lastly, organisations should focus on the broader workplace culture. This includes promoting teamwork, collaboration, and a sense of community. When employees feel connected and valued, their mental wellness is naturally enhanced. Regular team-building activities, mentorship programmes, and wellness challenges can foster a sense of belonging.

By creating a workplace culture that supports mental wellness, organisations not only thrive but also contribute to a healthier and happier society. It is time to embrace mental wellness as an integral part of our work lives.

The writer is the Group General Manager of HR and administration at CIC Group.